The White house is now urging all US organisations to beef up their security because of the possibility of cyberattacks ahead. And one way is to ensure all organisations have implemented multi-factor authentication across the board, not just for a few users.

A few years ago, multi-factor authentication required a careful and full explanation to people. Afterall it’s another step that users required to sign to their account. An approach to cybersecurity that requires the use of the user’s phone as an example. So the benefits of adding another step had to be outlined to people.

But even while knowing all the benefits and when it’s easily available, a lot of companies don’t use it according to previously reported data from Microsoft. In other words, they prefer easy access to their accounts over their security needs.

Most importantly, especially while the Russian invasion of Ukraine is happening, MFA is now a must have security layer, says the US government. The White House has warned, mandate the use of multi-factor authentication on your systems to make it harder for attackers to get onto your system.”

Likewise, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have touted the same message as the White House, that Russia could invade the US and other nations by hacking. And we see Russia is hacking of everything from online accounts to satellite broadband networks.

Shields up is a current campaign from CISA for organisations to arm up immediately by patching asap and secure network boundaries.

As a result of the possibility of an attack of the cyber kind, President Biden has vocalised his concerns, warning there’s an immediate need to improve tech security. That’s to say there is inside intel based on intelligence “that Russia is exploring options for potential cyberattacks”

Most of the US efforts to enhance the security of organisations comes from CISA who have the authority to require critical infrastructure owners and operators to report ransomware and other incidents within 24 hours. But now the White House is urging all organisations to beef up their security, even if they’re not considered critical infrastructure.

As Russian President Vladimir Putin escalated his aggression against the Ukraine back in November, the White House said in a statement, “we’ve accelerated our work,” since then.

Meanwhile they promise to “continue our efforts to provide resources and tools to the private sector, including via CISA’s Shields-Up campaign.”

Biden is one of the rare leaders to step in and urge all organisations to beef up security. It’s common of course for him to give executive order to compel federal agencies to patch software. But his current message is urging the private sector to do the same with their security which is unusual. That’s to say, Biden must consider it to be a real threat.

The White House also urged companies to take eight other steps that go beyond multi-factor authentication:

  • Change passwords across your networks so that previously stolen credentials are useless to malicious actors
  • Make sure that your systems are patched and protected against all known vulnerabilities
  • to continuously look for and mitigate threats, deploy modern security tools on your computers and devices
  • Back up your data and ensure you have offline backups beyond the reach of malicious actors
  • Run exercises and drill your emergency plans so that you are prepared to respond quickly to minimize the impact of any attack
  • Encrypt your data so it cannot be used if it is stolen
  • Educate your employees to common tactics that attackers will use over email or through websites

These eight steps are an easy way to start beefing up your cybersecurity

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